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FGCU hosts Pride Week Parade and Block Party

EN Photo by Bret Munson // Quinton Jeske and

By Bruno Halpern
Entertainment & Lifestyle Editor

Lots of color, diversity and happiness garnished FGCU as it hosted its annual Pride Week Parade and Block Party.
The Parade started at SoVi Green. Many students and faculty gathered to decorate the golf carts.
“I’ve come to support my fellow LGBTQ+ friends,” said Lauren Duranso. “I think people should mind to themselves, and then everyone can be happy.” 
“I’ve come to live my best life,” said Quinton Jeske.
Both are members of the GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) on campus. According to GSA’s Facebook page, the purpose of the organization is “to raise social awareness” and to be a “safe forum for discussion and friendship for all students and faculty who identify as LGBTQIA+, are questioning, or allies.”
“I think getting public support is necessary to fix a lot of the laws that can be discriminatory, and I believe pride parades, putting our people out there, ‘humanizing’ or community is a really good way to do that,” Jeske said.
The Parade culminated in the Block Party that was held in the Library Lawn. Free food, a variety of lawn games and even a photo booth were available to the attendees.
“We must let students know that they are supported,” said Lauren Strunk, Director of Prevention and Wellness Center. “There is an increase in participation this year, according to the event coordinator.”
Sissi Jensen, a student assistant with the Office of Multicultural Leadership Development, said that Pride Week is an event to celebrate people’s’ identities and be able to highlight that.

EN Photo by Bret Munson // A golf cart sits, ready for the parade.

EN Photo by Bret Munson // Elizabeth Butterbaugh, a grad student, Sam Palmisano, a junior and Mackenzie Hamblett, a sophomore, pose for a picture before the parade kicks off.

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